Ahead of a 10-point rebuttal, the Congress issued a scathing response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's New Year interview. Soon after the 95-minute interview, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted: "Summary of Modiji's 'Monologue' Interview:- 'I', 'Me', 'Mine', 'Myself' Country is suffering your 'I's & 'Lies'!"
"People thought PM Modi will begin the New Year on a great note... This same 'I-me-and-myself' has brought India to the brink of devastation in the 55 months that he has ruled," Mr Surjewala said at a press conference later.
The party has posed 10 questions for the Prime Minister, ranging from his promise to bring back black money and pay into the bank accounts of every Indian, to the status of the Clean Ganga project and high fuel prices.
Calling it a "fixed interview", senior Congress leader Anand Sharma tweeted: "PM Modi did not spare our people of his penchant for false promises, hollow claims and propaganda even on the New Year day. The habitual peddler of untruths and lies has signalled a nasty narrative for the 2019 election campaign."
PM Modi's exclusive interview to news agency ANI covered a range of topics including demands for a Ram temple in Ayodhya, Urjit Patel's resignation as RBI governor, demonetisation, mob killings, the BJP's defeat in three Hindi heartland states and its prospects in the coming national elections.
The Prime Minister also accused the Congress leadership of delaying the legal process in clearance of Ram temple construction and politicising the 2016 surgical strikes by the army against terror launchpads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The Congress said the interview was all rhetoric, where he failed to take into account any ground realities.
The BJP strongly countered the Congress attack. Party spokesperson Nalin Kohli said the Congress was "desperately working overtime" to negate the positive message of the Prime Minister's comments.